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Principal Report Jan. PAC Meeting - Sharing with all Parents

Picture of Kal Russell
Principal Report Jan. PAC Meeting - Sharing with all Parents
by Kal Russell - Wednesday, 20 January 2021, 11:17 AM

January 20, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Re: PAC Meeting Principal Report

I wanted to start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Each month our Parent Advisory Council meets on the third Tuesday in our Learning Commons to talk about North Saanich School and our school culture. It is a way to keep parents informed and connected to our school. It is difficult enough in a typical year for middle school parents to be involved in school as your children are at the age where they are seeking and needing some independence. That being said, it is important that you keep in touch with your school and especially your child's teachers to understand how they are progressing and moving forward in their learning. We want our students to improve every day, and having the schools and the family with the same goal sends a strong message to our students that engaging and learning at school is essential.  

Since we cannot have an in-person PAC meeting this month, I thought I would share my Principal's Report with all parents.  

2021 is off to a fantastic start. Students have come back to school ready to engage in their learning. It really does continue to look different from past years, but we all feel very fortunate to be in school.    

Health and Safety - Our Health and Safety Team continues to meet regularly to ensure that our school stays on top of our safety routines and procedures. Although people are suffering from Covid fatigue, we must continue to be vigilant in our routines. One way flow and mask-wearing in the hallways and common areas, cohorts on the playground and space between desks when working and eating are vital for us to continue to keep us safe. I can not thank our Health and Safety Committee, made up of Mr. Newlove, Mrs. Jones, Ms. Searle and Mrs. Tamburino, enough for continuing to focus us on routines that keep us safe.  

Athletics - We are trying to run some after school athletics. Volleyball is our current sport, and it is one sport that we can play some games with our cohorts. The sign-up has been strong, and we look forward to the students having some fun and picking up some skills. We appreciate that NSMS staff continue to volunteer for extra-curricular activities. We are fortunate to have a team that continues to support extra-curricular activities during these challenging times.

Respect and Virtues - The world has provided us with numerous teachable moments over the past year. As a school, we continue to use these events to teach and support our students in being respectful and virtuous people. Although middle school students occasionally mess up, I am always amazed and pleased that all our students want to be positive and contribute to an inclusive and respectful school community. 

Academics and Assessment - Teachers continue to engage students in their learning. It is important that we move each student forward each day. All students learning at times may look different, but we try to meet all children's needs. Reading groups, preparing for the GAUSS Math contest, hands-on learning experiences, and small-group learning, all within the Covid guidelines, continue to be valued and practiced at North Saanich. The report card went home in December, and teachers continue to communicate regularly with their parents. The Grade 7 Foundations Skills Assessment has been rescheduled until Feb. 15, 2021. More information will be coming home to Grade 7 parents and guardians soon. We continue to encourage parents to stay connected to their classroom teacher.  

Our school continues to look for ways to make school exciting and engaging. Music in the halls to welcome students in the morning, full canteen service, even pizza days and book exchange program with classroom delivery, cohort intramural games, and virtual assemblies are ways to keep things interesting and engaging.  

A big thank you to all parents for continuing to support their children academically and socially as we try to help them navigate covid restrictions and middle school life. NSMS students are great kids, and I know they will come out of this school year stronger and more resilient learners and people.

Go Hawks!  



Kal Russell